Ocean Restoration


The only hit I have ever welcomed was the slap of a wave

First, my ankles and then my thighs

Shocked by the coolness yet I welcome it again and again

When my waist is consumed and I gasp in delight

Even when I stumble back a step and lose my footing

I want more and relax as I go even deeper

The salt kisses my skin and the sun sparkles on each crest

I laugh freely as my neck is plunged into the darkness

As I begin to float and let each push plummet me closer to shore

I formulate a plan to return to the ocean

And back to the water I go

My body has become tolerant of all that assails 

I pray my heart can handle the impact

That my thick skin somehow protects 

The broken pieces of my heart that was once whole

Because the joy I feel in the depths

Exhilarates and mends and restores

The only hit I have ever welcomed was the slap of a wave



Blue Plastic Pool


My mother sat for hours in the front yard

She would pull a folding lawn chair 

Up to the edge of the blue plastic pool

Positioning her sunglasses that she had saved

From her last jaunt to Hawaii in the late 60s 

On top of her head 

A tiara resting on her beautiful black short curly hair

She was generous with the sun oil 

That always seemed to glisten on her arms 


Once her feet entered that icy hose filled pool

My sister and I knew she should be left alone

Silence prevailed until she slowly removed her feet

Mom would towel dry one and then the other

She then stood next to pool always studying the water

In the late 80s I finally asked why she loved that pool


Her answer came slowly as she removed her dark lenses

“That pool is a refuge.  

I remember an ocean that I will never see again

I pretend that pool is water surrounding Hawaii

No other land that I can see

Even for a few moments it is him and I on the beach.”

The HIM was Norman Allen Kaluhiokalni


The man she thought she would one day marry

My mother didn’t marry Norman

She returned to Minnesota and then married my father

Norman and my mother lost touch over the years

My mother spoke of the water and the waves

Of body surfing and eating fish on the beach

Of time spent in a sandy hut with the man of her dreams

More often in her final days his name fell from her lips

Norman Allen Kaluhiokalani


Now when I swim in my large ever so blue pool

I often think of my mom and her refuge

Of her Hawaiian waters

Of sunglasses worn the last time she saw the man she dreamed of


Whether it is a pool or lake or the ocean in the gulf

I will always remember fondly a folding lawn chair

Pulled up to the edge of a blue plastic pool




Kelli J Gavin lives in Carver, Minnesota with Josh, her husband of an obscene amount of years and they have two crazy kids. She is a Writer, Blogger and Professional Organizer You can find her work with The Inner Circle Writers’ Group, The Ugly Writers, Sweatpants & Coffee, Love What Matters, Writing In a Woman’s Voice, The Writers Newsletter, Writer’s Unite!, Zombie Pirate Publishing, Academy of the Heart and Mind, The Rye Whiskey Review, Spillwords, Mercurial Stories, Southwest Media, and Story Pub among others.  Kelli’s first two books were released in 2019. (I Regret Nothing and My Name is Zach)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   


 Blog found at www.kellijgavin.blogspot.com


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